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Penalty killing holds, timely scoring wins it
Marleau has two goals in 4-2 win in Dallas
12/21/09 - By Mike Lee -

Another long break in the schedule provided the Sharks with an opportunity to re-energize in preparation for their Pacific Division match-up with the Dallas Stars on Monday night. Having an extra step in their skates allowed the Sharks to overcome a 5-0 disparity on the power play and take a 4-2 win in Texas . Patrick Marleau scored a pair of goals in the victory and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 36 shots in the victory.

San Jose leaned on a solid penalty kill and some timely scoring to break a two game losing streak to the Stars, who have taken both games in San Jose this season. A little luck late in the contest also contributed to the win.

Both teams would play tentatively in the opening period, feeling the opposition out for cracks in the armor. San Jose would make things easier for the Stars by taking three penalties in the period that resulted in Dallas power plays.

Niklas Grossman clanked a shot off the left post five minutes into the game.

Joe Pavelski threw the puck over the glass for an early delay of game infraction, then captain Rob Blake would be sent off for slashing at 14:51. Blake would take another slashing penalty at the horn to put the Stars back on the power play to start the 2nd period, but once again the San Jose penalty kill denied the Stars again.

The penalty bug continued to bite the Sharks in the 2nd period. Marc-Edouard Vlasic was singled out for roughing after the two teams started to mix things up behind the Sharks net 5:28 into the period. Once again San Jose killed off the penalty, but it meant more time skating a man down.

That penalty kill seemed to energize the Sharks and they would capitalize at 9:43. Ryane Clowe picked off a clearing attempt near the right corner, then curled around the back of the Stars net from right to left, before backhanding a pass through the crease to Pavelski on the off post. The Sharks centerman easily tapped home his 6th goal of the season past Marty Turco for the 1-0 lead.

Tom Wandell elected to forgo a pass to Steve Ott, opting to put a shot on goal from the left win at 8:30 that just missed. The sharks immediately countered and Jed Ortmeyer missed on his own chance after skating in on Turco from the right side.

Ott hit the post with 6 minutes in the period to cap a wild back and forth sequence that seemed devoid of any defense.

The Sharks top line got a goal late in the period to extend the lead to two-goals. Marleau took a feed from Joe Thornton near the top of the left circle before lifting a shot that beat Turco to the near side.

Nabokov stoned Jamie Benn with his right leg pad, after the Stars forward beat a defender around the right side, then cut across the top of the crease.

The 3rd period couldn’t have started worse for San Jose . Benn cut the Sharks lead in half with his 7th goal of the season just 18 seconds in. Brendan Morrow put a shot on goal from the right side, but Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov allowed the puck to deflect right to Benn for the easy put back.

Marleau would grab the momentum right back just over two minutes later with his second of the game. Dany Healtey sent a bullet from the right side to Marleau on the off wing, just as the forward hit the Stars blueline. Marleau took a single stride then unloaded on Turco, catching the top right side of the net for the 3-1 Sharks lead.

Heatley would find himself in the box at 5:33 for tripping, and the Stars would take all of 5 seconds to convert on the ensuing power play. Stephan Robidas would send a shot in from the point that pin-balled off a Shark, then hit Olui Eriksson in the skate, deflecting again past Nabokov. The play would be reviewed, but the officials ruled there was no distinct kicking motion by Eriksson, so the goal would stand.

The Sharks thought they had their first power play chance of the night when Thornton was chopped across the left arm while he carried the puck in on net, but the on-ice officials kept their whistles in their pockets.

Devin Setoguchi missed on a golden chance to push the lead back to two-goals after he intercepted a Stars pass right in front of the Dallas net with just under ten minutes to play. The Sharks forward took a step toward Turco and tried to snap a shot by the Dallas netminder, but his shot was turned aside.

Stars head coach Marc Crawford would pull Turco with 1:30 to play, but that would backfire on Dallas . A faceoff win by the Stars would chip back into their own zone, but rookie defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy mishandled the puck and actually pushed it toward his own net. Vishnevskiy tried to track it down, but the momentum carried it across the goal line to seal the win for San Jose . Clowe was credited with the goal, his 8th of the season.

Game Notes:

It was the first time in seven years that the Sharks failed to draw a power play against an opponent.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 2 4
DAL 0 0 2 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Pavelski 6 (Clowe), 9:43. 2, SJ, Marleau 22 (Thornton, Heatley), 18:01.
3rd period - 3, DAL, Benn 7 (Morrow), 0:18. 4, SJ, Marleau 23 (Heatley, Boyle), 2:43. 5, DAL, Eriksson 12 (Robidas, Richards), 5:38, (pp). 6, SJ, Clowe 8 (unassisted), 19:10, (en).
1st period - Pavelski, SJ (delay of game – puck over glass), 1:39; Blake, SJ (slashing), 14:51; Vlasic, SJ (cross checking), 16:21; Modano, DAL (cross checking), 16:21; Blake, SJ (slashing), 20:00.
2nd period - Vlasic, SJ (roughing), 5:28.
3rd period - Heatley, SJ (tripping), 5:33.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 38 36
DAL - Turco 31 28
DAL - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 11 13 31
DAL 13 17 8 38
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 0
DAL 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Evgeni Nabokov
Jamie Benn
Referees: Watson, Auger. Linesmen: Cvik, Driscoll.

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